Mac Pro for photography?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mfouks, May 12, 2014.

  1. mfouks macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    #1
    I currently have a 2012 IMAC, 27inch top of the line model. It has a 3.4 ghz intel core I7 with 32GB 1600 MHz DDR3 ram and a Nvidia Geforce GTC 680MX 2048 MB graphics card. I have no yet upgraded to Maverick.

    I use the computer for a variety of things but my main focus in photography. I have been finding the computer slow using lightroom and a few plugins such as Nik software and on one suite. I find the rendering of the images in LR particularly slow and saving the files back to LR slow. I also use PS and noticed that saving the file from PS to LR is instantaneous.

    My question is would a Mac Pro make a big difference to my photography workflow. I am using a Nikon D800e with huge files. My working files are currently on my pegasus r6. Someone suggested that another alternative would be to get a 1 TB solid state drive and work from there.

    I would appreciate any suggestions that you would have. If I were to get a new model Mac Pro which configuration should I get? Would the Mac Pro be 50% or more faster? I am currently using two monitors as well.

    Thank you,

    Marsha
     
  2. SuperMatt macrumors 6502

    SuperMatt

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2002
    #2
  3. MH01 macrumors G4

    MH01

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #3
    I would be tempted to upgrade your imac to SSD.

    I assume you current drive is not a SSD?

    And any files you work with in external chassis, also move that to SSD.
     
  4. mfouks thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    #4
    No I am using the external thunderbolt drive for my working files.
    I might just try getting an external SSD drive and trying that first.

    Thanks,

    Marsha



    ----------

    thank you so much- I will read it now.

    Marsha
    9 sections, talking about what the optimal Mac Pro configuration is for photographers.[/QUOTE]
     
  5. hassiman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    #5
    Best config....

    I do Fine Art photography.... I don't have hundreds of images open at a time... but it do use a 36MP camera and scanned 6X6 images so my files can be HUGE.

    The 4 core MP works very well for me. I just upgraded the SSD to 512GB bumped the RAM up to 16gb. Standard D300 Vcards.

    I do occasional HD video production and this renders very quickly. Us LightRoom CC and Creative Cloud suite. Machine is tottally SILENT. Only programs on my SSD. All else is stored on and run from CalDigit Thunderbolt drives which have amazing throughput.:D

    There are already upgrade CPUs out there so I am assured if I ever want to get into 4K the nMacPro is a good foundation.... upgrade video cards will probably be coming also.
     
  6. AppleDroid macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    Location:
    Illinois
    #6
    I appreciate his research but his usage needs are way beyond most photographers. He often states he *needs* more than 64GB of RAM to do whatever he's doing in Photoshop. I've worked on 2GB+ files for large displays and I never ate up even 24GB of ram on my old 2009 MP.

    Other than that it seems universally suggested to get the base MP + 512GB SSD or 1TB if you can stomach the cost. the 6c is nice but most Adobe apps barely use 4 so unless Adobe rewrites their software soon you may see a slight benefit from certain functions but not across the board gains.

    The biggest advantages right now are not CPU power as the latest iMac is just as fast as the base model MP - But you gain TB2 ports (and more ports), faster I/O and SSD blades plus a much higher thermal limit before things have to throttle back like they do on imacs.

    Also how long do you plan on keeping it? 2-3 years maybe get the Quad + 512GB SSD. 3-5 Years might want to spring for the 6c in hopes Adobe gets their **** together and utilize more cores.
     
  7. mfouks thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    #7
    Good advice -thanks.

    Marsha


    do Fine Art photography.... I don't have hundreds of images open at a time... but it do use a 36MP camera and scanned 6X6 images so my files can be HUGE.

    The 4 core MP works very well for me. I just upgraded the SSD to 512GB bumped the RAM up to 16gb. Standard D300 Vcards.

    I do occasional HD video production and this renders very quickly. Us LightRoom CC and Creative Cloud suite. Machine is tottally SILENT. Only programs on my SSD. All else is stored on and run from CalDigit Thunderbolt drives which have amazing throughput.:D

    There are already upgrade CPUs out there so I am assured if I ever want to get into 4K the nMacPro is a good foundation.... upgrade video cards will probably be coming also.[/QUOTE]
     
  8. mfouks thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    #8
    I am really not technical at all so I'm trying to understand what everyone is saying. At the moment I use less than the 256GB SSD on my IMAC (it is actually a fusion drive) so I was thinking that if I were to get the Mac Pro I would just go with the same size SSD as I keep all of my files on my TB Pegasus external drive. Then again I might have to upgrade the Pegasus drive to the new thunderbolt drive and keep the old Pegasus one as backup. However, perhaps if I were to spring for the larger size SSD, I could use do the processing on my current drive and then move the processed files over to the external drive. I wouldn't go anymore than 32GB of Ram and perhaps I could get away with 16 GB. I would like go 6 core if it meant keeping the machine for longer. I think my main issue is trying to figure out if switching to a Mac Pro for my purposes of photography would increase the speed of my workflow by enough to make the switch worthwhile. I would like to be able to click on a photo in LR and have it render instantaneously or be able to go back and forth to plugins and have them save as quickly as Adobe does now.

    Thanks for your advice

    Marsha

    I appreciate his research but his usage needs are way beyond most photographers. He often states he *needs* more than 64GB of RAM to do whatever he's doing in Photoshop. I've worked on 2GB+ files for large displays and I never ate up even 24GB of ram on my old 2009 MP.

    Other than that it seems universally suggested to get the base MP + 512GB SSD or 1TB if you can stomach the cost. the 6c is nice but most Adobe apps barely use 4 so unless Adobe rewrites their software soon you may see a slight benefit from certain functions but not across the board gains.

    The biggest advantages right now are not CPU power as the latest iMac is just as fast as the base model MP - But you gain TB2 ports (and more ports), faster I/O and SSD blades plus a much higher thermal limit before things have to throttle back like they do on imacs.

    Also how long do you plan on keeping it? 2-3 years maybe get the Quad + 512GB SSD. 3-5 Years might want to spring for the 6c in hopes Adobe gets their **** together and utilize more cores.[/QUOTE]
     
  9. toxthexnines macrumors regular

    toxthexnines

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    #9
    I just got mine last Wednesday, 6-core/32GB/1TB/D500, i use Photoshop & Lightroom for my workflow. I shoot with a D800 which is a 36MP camera, files tend to get rather large.

    So far i'm blazing through everything compared to my old iMac setup and my 2012 Macbook Air (granted i used the Air for light editing).
     
  10. MH01 macrumors G4

    MH01

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #10
    [/QUOTE]

    I read further down the page u have a fusion drive. I'd replace that with a dedicated ssd. The other option of course is a TB ssd drive. Though have you considered a nas ? Synology ??

    Though it's a bit hard for me to make recommendations as my iMac is a 2009, though from experience a dedicated ssd drive really speeds up photography workflow.

    Another option is Raid 0 setup . That will make the internal ssd's fly.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1231336

    The Mac Pro, just seems like an expansive solution. The biggest advantage it has over you iMac is the ssd storage.

    ----------

    Though to be fair , is that your 2009 iMac ? Cause it's a huge difference between that and the top of the range 2012. I know I have the 2009, and it's been downgraded to being used mainly as a screen now.
     
  11. toxthexnines macrumors regular

    toxthexnines

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    #11
    Though to be fair , is that your 2009 iMac ? Cause it's a huge difference between that and the top of the range 2012. I know I have the 2009, and it's been downgraded to being used mainly as a screen now.[/QUOTE]

    Yeah it was my 2009 iMac, upgraded certain parts through the years, but it wasn't so great after i upgraded cameras.
     
  12. MH01 macrumors G4

    MH01

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #12
    Yeah it was my 2009 iMac, upgraded certain parts through the years, but it wasn't so great after i upgraded cameras.[/QUOTE]

    Apart from the buzzing whine when the screen is off, it was an awesome machine. Love the Mini display port, I can run my gaming PC into it and use it as a monitor. Wish the new ones had that functionality still.
     
  13. hassiman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    #13
    nMacPro advantages

    To me the nMacPro was a hard decision... but one I had to make as I tend to keep equipment for a long time. The iMac is as fast if not faster than the nMacPro in some situations but its problem is one of design. It is sleek and has a small footprint but all that comes at a cost. It's just too much stuff crammed into too small a space.... Things just can't help but be effected by heat.... even SSD drives, motherboards, all of the components suffer over the long haul.
    The nMacPro is one huge heat sink. Even when working its butt off it runs cool. This means a much better chance of extending component lifespan... plus you can actually get into the little bugger and upgrade it yourself ( carefully...)
    In terms of materials quality computers don't get much better than this. It's a brick... I have had many friends lose their iMacs after 4-5 years... many with drive failures in less time. The new SSDs should solve those problems... but still buying quality, when I can afford to do so has always served me well in the past. My Leica M cameras still work after many years...... They have held up much better than I have!:eek:
     
  14. dmax35 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    #14
    Terry white gives his perspective.

    http://terrywhite.com/photographers-imac-mac-pro/

    For me I went from an iMac to a Mac Pro to a NMP and have seen and increase in workflow speed shooting both a d800E and medium format. I use both Capture One and Lr and C1 does benefit more over LR. FYI on One software is clunky and I don't think a super computer can make it any faster.
     
  15. mfouks thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    #15
    mac pro for photographers

    thank you everyone for your replies. From all of the reading it looks like the Mac Pro will not be much faster than my iMac for my uses. I think I should get an external SSD, put on my working files and see how that goes.

    Marsha
     

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